It does not matter who you are, where you are driving or what time it may be. The fact is that you can hear that terrible thumping coming from one of your tires at any time and in any place. Everyone is likely to have the experience of dealing with a flat tire on their car at least once in a lifetime. When you do hear the noise, however, your body begins to seize with dread. You think about dealing with the issue and how you are going to handle it. Even if you have a roadside assistance program it could be a while before they show up to help you. In that time you could have the tire changed yourself and be back on your way. Even if you do not remember what you were taught by your father about changing a tire, it is an easy process that you can handle yourself if you follow these basic steps.
1. Find a safe, level space – The first thing you want to do is be sure to pull over to a level area that is as far from the traffic pattern as you can be. Put your hazard lights on and pick a level spot to keep the car from rolling.
2. Put it in Park – It sounds like something you should know, but stop the car, put it in park and turn the car off. For those with a standard transmission, you can put the car into first gear or reverse and stop the engine.
3. Brace the tires – Find a couple of heavy objects like rocks, pieces of asphalt, concrete or even your spare tire and put the items in front of both the front and back tires to prevent any rolling.
4. Get the spare and the jack – You will have the jack, spare tire and lug wrench in the trunk. Take them out and place the jack under the frame of the car near the tire that needs changing. Make sure you have it on the metal part of the frame. Most new cars have a notch in the area to put the jack. If you are not sure, look in your owner’s manual. Raise the jack until it is supporting the car.
5. Removing the tire – Take off the hub cap and loosen the nuts by turning them in a counterclockwise manner. This is not always easy; sometimes you need to use your body weight on the wrench to get the nuts loose. Pump up the jack now so the tire is off the ground and remove the nuts the rest of the way. You can then remove the flat tire.
6. Put on the spare – Line everything up with the bolts and slide the spare on, then place the lug nuts back on and tighten them as tight as you can.
7. Lower the car – You can lower the jack until the tire is back on the ground fully and the car is stable on the ground. Pull out the jack and give the lug nuts one last tighten to be sure they are tight. Put the hub cap back on, put the flat tire in your trunk and you are good to go.
You should then take the tire to a mechanic and see if it can be repaired. Often tires can be fixed and sealed if it is just a small puncture. If the tire is beyond repair they can get you a new one and dispose of the flat for you. While knowing how to change the tire is important, having a car that is in top running condition with good tires is also critical all of the time. If you are concerned about your car, you may want to look at the options at a Chevrolet Riverside dealership such as http://www.mtvchevy.com so you can find the right car for your needs.